Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's up with...Orangutans?

What is up with orangutans? I took my brother to the Milwaukee Zoo a few weeks ago, and we did all the requisite stops—we saw giraffes eating out of trees, monkeys brachiating, lions sunbathing, and snakes doing absolutely nothing at all.

I didn’t try knocking on the glass because I was afraid a Parselmouth would get me. Okay, I did.

While we were in the ape house, we made the usual hackneyed comments on how “they’re just like us” and “their faces are so ugly” and “hey, that one looks like your mother-in-law” (okay, so neither of us has a mother-in-law, but I feel like mothers-in-law are usually the scapegoats in these zoological situations).

If your mother-in-law looks like this, then what does your husband looks like? Michael Keaton?

But then we came upon the orangutan. Whenever I hear “orangutan” I think of the Mary Kate and Ashley straight-to-video release, “The Case of the Fun House Mystery,” wherein the twins are called to investigate an alleged monster living in the Fun House of a carnival. The monster turns out to be an orangutan, and everyone laughs about how silly they were.

Kinda cute, eh?

But the orangutan that lives at the Milwaukee Zoo is a veritable monster.

It’s both an orangutan AND a monster!

There were children whimpering and begging to go back to the cute little Beetlejuice monkeys. This animal was straight out of their worst nightmares! Who ever created such a terrifying being? Could it be that all those stories about the Boogey Man lurking in your closet were really inspired by an ape from Borneo?
Orangutans--what's up with that? What animal scares you the most?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Contradictions: Cosmo

Two years ago, Cosmopolitan ran an article that taught me how to get even closer to my man.

I swear I’ve read this article before…several times.

I decided to read it because, hey, I could always use a few tips, right? And Cosmo’s never let me down before. Well, actually…Anyway, the list was chock full of stupid ideas that ranged from asinine to stalkerish. For instance, Tip #3:

“While waiting in line for a unisex bathroom, pull him into the loo with you. You don’t even have to jump him, but even a quick make-out session is electrifying.”

First off, where are all these unisex bathrooms you speak of? Secondly, if you’re waiting in line I assume this means there are people waiting behind you who would be pretty peeved that they had to hold their whiz while you two have sexy time. I’m pretty sure if I tried this, my bf would be like “what’s going on? I have to pee.” And stop calling it a “make-out session!” It’s not like I’m billing him in 15 minute increments.

Tip # 8 is just as asinine:

“Pick a regular time, like lunch hour, and send a what-I’m-doing-right-now e-mail or text. The simple routine will give him a treat to look forward to.”

This is what my text would say every single day: “Right now I am eating lunch, because it is my lunch hour.” Seems like a waste of a texting plan to me.

And then there are the truly scary ideas: Tip #11 says

“Ask his mom for a shot of him as a boy doing something great, like his game-winning Little League pitch. Frame it, and put it in your place where he’ll see it.”

Is it just me, or did Kate Hudson do this in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?

And my favorite tip of all, Tip #35:

“Skip the contrived chocolate-body-paint routine in bed. Instead, nosh on warm blondies with hot-fudge sauce after you’ve done the deed (but while you’re still nekkid).”

I was unaware that chocolate body paint even existed, let alone that it is contrived. Also, can “nekkid” go the way of “make-out session?”

But I digress. The reason I am returning to this 2-year-old article is because of Tip #21:

It doesn’t seem so bad—maybe a little on the psycho girlfriend side, but it’s manageable. But check THIS out:

This little iota of wisdom was taken from an article titled “Tales of Over-the-Top Romance” from the March 2010 issue. Perhaps they should have just reprinted the entire February 2008 article under this new title.

Conclusion: Cosmo is stupid, or else they just assume their audience is stupid. Which may be quite true.

Do any of you read Cosmo? What's the dumbest thing they've ever convinced you to do?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Top 10 Worst Things Your Professor Can Say

10. “I’ve decided not to cancel class next Monday after all.”

The only thing worse than having class on a Monday is thinking you don’t have class and then realizing you do.

True story.

9. “I need you all to purchase [insert incredibly dull book title here] by [insert “famous” scholar here] even though it wasn’t on the original book list. I think you guys will really enjoy it.”

If you wanted me to buy a book, you should have told me when I still had access to my dad’s credit card! And no, I won’t enjoy it.

8. “We were going to watch a movie, but now I don’t think we have time. I want you to check it out from the library instead and turn in a response paper.”

The ONLY time watching a movie about ancient philosophy/theology/assininity is exciting is when it’s taking up precious class time. Couch potato time is for serious exploits like Tool Academy and Mad Men, not your silly educational video. And we better be able to use Wiki for the paper!

A much better use of one’s time.

7. “I’m going to be out of town next week, but luckily our fabulous TA has volunteered to sub.”

If you don’t have to be here, why do I? P.S. Can the TA sub for you every day? He’s a better teacher.

6. “I just had this really zany idea for an assignment.”

No. Just no. If it involves dressing up like Queen Gorgo and doing a song and dance number in front of the class, I’m calling in sick for the rest of the semester.

That outfit is NSFSchool.

5. “Six to eight pages? No I think I said eight to ten.”

If it says 6-8 pages on the syllabus, you can bet I’m gonna turn in a 6 pager. Altering the

syllabus mid semester is even worse than altering the book list.

4. “Okay, put your notes away. You have 50 minutes.”

Tests suck. Especially sans notes.

Easiest test ever. I knew I should have been a math major.

3. “Here are the assignments for your group projects.”

Group projects suck even more (that’s why it’s lower on the list, people). Finagling schedules with underage drunkies who “might not be sober” when you want to meet, sorostitutes who have wet t-shirt contests to attend, and “busy” people who just don’t have time for yet another group project is absolute misery. I’ll just do the project myself, guys. Sign your names on the line when I’m done.

2. “…What do you think?”

I’m sure I’d think something if I’d heard the first part of your sentence. Unfortunately, I was too busy doodling pictures of what I’m going to eat for dinner to listen to you drone on about Chaucer.

Mmm. Dinner.

1. “Okay, class, let’s begin.”

How long is your class from start to finish? That’s how long you now have until you’re free. And the countdown begins.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Awkward Person's Survival Guide to Awkward Situations

Playing Chicken on the Sidewalk

The situation: You’re walking on the right side of the sidewalk (and by “right” I mean both “correct” and the opposite of left). You see someone on the horizon walking on the same side (their left, your right, not the correct side no matter how you look at it). “Well, they’ll just have to move,” you think to yourself, assuming that proprietary sidewalk rules are universal. The pedestrian moves closer. You keep moving, more belligerent with every step. Finally you reach the point of no return—you and the false-stepper are nose to nose, toe to toe. Détente: you agree to move to the other side, so does the jerk. “Okay fine, I’ll stay on the right side,” you think to yourself. “It’s the right side anyway. You know, right as in ‘correct.’” But no, the ass anticipates your move and mirrors you, until the two of you are a couple of uncoordinated tango-dancers in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking other would-be tangoers from completing their forbidden dance.

You could always resort to violence. And literal interpretations of things.

The solution: You must grab your dance partner by the shoulders and physically move him or her to the left side of the sidewalk (read: your left, i.e. the correct side). Then say “you dance divinely” and carry on.

Saying Hi Too Soon

The situation: Perhaps you’ve just finished your tango and you spot another person on the horizon. This person is actually someone you know and like (they also happen to be walking on the correct side, perhaps because you expect only the utmost performance in all your friends and acquaintances). You make eye contact. They wave. You wave. “Hey!” they shout. “What?” you say. “HEY! HOW ARE YOU?” “Oh, hi! Good, you?” They nod and smile. They continue approaching you. You continue approaching them. You realize you don’t like them enough to further the conversation, and they have the same realization. You pass each other without making eye contact.

You should wear this at all times.

The solution: Pretend not to recognize anyone until they are within normal conversation limits. If someone yells “HEY” to you from 50 feet away, turn to the guy behind you and say “what’s with that spaz?”

Saying Goodbye Too Soon

The situation: This one’s almost as bad as saying hi too soon—you’re walking with a friend, roommate, professor, mortal enemy, frenemy, etc. You think you’re about to part ways. “See you later!” you say (unless it is a mortal enemy or frenemy, then you say “See you in hell!”). The co-pedestrian smiles, waves, and reciprocates. You keep walking. The other person continues next to you. “Oh, um, I’m walking this way too,” you say. Then you talk about how awkward it is that you already said goodbye, until it’s time to say goodbye for real. And let’s hope this time it actually is for real.

Basically this, but not a penguin.

The solution: Either stop saying goodbye to people you’re walking with, or become flexible enough to change your route when it becomes apparent that your friend/enemy/what have you is not leaving your presence at the expected time. Or you can continue walking with the person and say “going my way, baby?” This should ultimately cause the person to remember he has to drop a book off at the library, so he’ll have to catch ya later.

Making a Fart Noise with Your Shoes

The situation: You’re in the middle of your French final. The room is silent, save for the sound of graphite upon bluebook. You move your foot a fraction of an inch, and a suspiciously fartilicious sound results. Fellow Francophiles look up from their conjugations to judge you. As if farting during a French final weren’t bad enough, now you’re getting blamed without even getting to experience the benefits of a real fart, e.g. the enjoyable release.

No farting in English! En français, s’il vous plaît!

The solution: Squeeze your buttocks in such a way as to release a real fart. Then say “see, that actually sounded much different. The first one was just my shoe.” If you’re a real connoisseur, say all of the above in French.

Being Captured in Someone Else’s Photo

The situation: You’re sitting in the caf all alone (remember, you are awkward and thus have few friends). You start thinking about how funny it was that one time you fell down the stairs and split your pants. Suddenly a flash goes off and you realize you were caught making a stupid smiling-even-though-you’re-all-alone-and-nothing-could-possibly-be-that-funny face in the background of some stranger’s picture. Your ugly mug will be forever immortalized in that idiot’s facebook album, and you’ll forever be known as “that weirdo,” as in “look at that weirdo’s face! Hahahaha!”

Or perhaps you were doing…something else.

The solution: Grab the offender’s camera and see for yourself how the picture turned out. If it looks good, introduce yourself and request that you be tagged. If you look like the jackass you imagine yourself to be, demand a retake. If the person refuses to acquiesce, smash their camera on the floor, and follow up the gesture with a “what now, homie?”

What other awkward encounters have you had?

Friday, April 16, 2010

5 Things That Make Me Happy

A big thank you to Joni at Six Cherries on Top for giving me the Happy 101 Award!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

1. Copy and Paste the award on your blog.
2. Tell who gave you the award and link to that person's blog.
3. List 10 things that make you happy.
4. Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

I pass the award on to:

M Loves M

What Can I Say


Bits on the Nippy Side

Absolutely Fabulous

I've already posted about Awesomeness and How to Be Happy, but I suppose I can also give you a list of things that make me happy in general.

5 Things that make me happy (I only have 5):

Hearing conversations in other languages

I like figuring out which language they’re speaking, and I like when they switch between languages mid sentence. I also like watching foreign movies with subtitles and seeing how they say English idioms in different languages. “As if” in French is something along the lines of “in your dreams” according to the dubbed version of Clueless.

Natural light

When I came home from class the other day, the sun streaming in to my bedroom was so unbelievably bright that I just had to make photographic evidence. Don’t mind the unmade bed (that chore doesn’t make me happy, so it never gets done). I don’t know why this makes me happy, but I think it’s a universal thing.

Big hair

I think this one’s self-explanatory. When my hair’s big, I am happy. When your hair’s big, I am jealous. I own a bump-it, and I’ve worn it in public. I back-comb, I pin-curl, I blow dry. I will never achieve hair that is sufficiently voluminous.


Getting a new issue of a magazine in the mail is such a great feeling! It all started with Highlights, then American Girl, then Girls’ Life, then YM, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, CosmoGIRL!, Lucky, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, and, um Working Mother (I swear I did not subscribe to this. I am neither working nor a mother.) I love the feel of a magazine in my hands, the smell of the perfume samples, the glossy cover, the table of contents full of unread goodness, the layouts that don’t change from month-to-month, the features that do change monthly, the fashion editorials, the couture ads…I love everything about them! It was always my dream to write for a magazine, but sadly I think the end is near for print media.

Men in suits

From two years ago. Forgive my (in retrospect) actually too huge hairdo

When my man puts on a suit, I die a little and go to suit heaven. My favorite part is the shiny belt and the dress shoes. Ooh, and the dress socks! (That’s how you know it’s business time.) I also really like pinstripes, and loosened ties. And when the jacket comes off, I love a rolled-up sleeve or two! (As a side note, can you believe he has the audacity to complain about how uncomfortable his dress shoes are? Try wearing…any type of woman’s shoe.)

What random things make you happy?